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Types of Laws

Based on discussions with experts in the field, CDC identified seven state legislative strategies that have potential to impact prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose. State prescription drug monitoring programs were not included because they are catalogued elsewhere (Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs).

The Seven Types of Laws

physical exam iconLaws Requiring a Physical Examination before Prescribing

Forms iconLaws Requiring Tamper-Resistant Prescription Forms

Pain clinic iconLaws Regulating Pain Clinics

Drug limits iconLaws Setting Prescription Drug Limits

Doctor shopping laws iconLaws Prohibiting “Doctor Shopping”/Fraud

ID laws iconLaws Requiring Patient Identification before Dispensing

Immunity laws icon Laws Providing Immunity from Prosecution/Mitigation at Sentencing for Individuals Seeking Assistance During an Overdose

About the Laws

States have broad authority to regulate the prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs and do so in a variety of ways.  This resource is designed to provide a picture of some of the legal and regulatory strategies states have used to address prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose. Because it is not feasible to document all the ways states have used the law to address this topic, CDC chose to survey only seven specific types of state laws.

The seven types of laws documented here were chosen based on discussions with experts in the field on the potential importance of such laws on the epidemic. CDC surveyed the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see if they had enacted these laws as of August 31, 2010.  CDC looked at both state statutes and regulations by state agencies.

Please note that the effectiveness of these seven types of laws has not been evaluated by CDC. CDC’s survey of these laws is intended to provide a picture of the legal and regulatory environment surrounding this important public health problem, not to evaluate or judge the effectiveness of each state’s approach to this epidemic.

Related Pages

Search Strategy
Learn more about the strategy used for this study.

State Laws
Learn about the laws in each state.

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